Darrion Caldwell wins the Bellator Bantamweight Title at Bellator 184
“The Wolf” bested Eduardo Dantas to become the latest champion for Bellator MMA
To prove that they are the number one MMA promotion in the world, Bellator MMA has been stockpiling on prospects. While Aaron Pico is the latest addition to their arsenal, it’s Darrion Caldwell who has impressed the longest. When finally given his chance to prove himself, “The Wolf” did not disappoint, defeating Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 184 via unanimous decision to become the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion. The Spike TV event took place at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
The 29-year old Caldwell (11-1) put on an absolute clinic against a two-time champion in Dantas (20-5). While he didn’t completely dominate the fight, he impressed enough for the judges to score the contest in favor of him 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45.
Darrion Caldwell, born in New Jersey, controlled the match in round one due to his grappling ability and takedowns. he even took Dantas to Suplex City at one point. Round two saw Caldwell land a vicious shot to the face, but Dantas would not give up. The now former champion had Caldwell in top position a few times in round three, working close on the ground game.
By round four, it looked like Dantas was going to take this one home with a rear-naked choke, but Caldwell was able to fight through it before the round closed. He even made Dantas draw blood with an elbow above the eye. Like he did for the entire fight, Caldwell’s impressive kicks controlled the last round. Along with a few grappling attempts, that was enough to sway the judges for a victory.
What makes the win an impressive one is the durability of Darrion Caldwell. This is the first time he fought in the championship rounds, which could have slowed him down. There was no stopping him however, as he gained enough energy to go toe-to-toe with one of the best fighters Bellator has in Dantas.
Speaking after the fight, Caldwell showed confidence and made a major statement about his status as champion:
“Feels like a dream come true, baby. “The Wolf” is here. This is my belt, and I’m keeping it for a long, long time, baby.”
The former NCAA Division I national champion is now in control. It’s a victory for the man Bellator has high hopes for. Will this lead to more high-profile matchups at venues in New York, Los Angeles, etc? Caldwell expects it, and Bellator may grant that wish in the not so distant future.
With a championship win, Caldwell now has a target on his back. With a stacked Bellator bantamweight division, the possibilities are endless. Bellator will be savoring any matchup that Darrius Caldwell can sink his teeth into. The future is starting to look bright for the company, and Caldwell will look to lead the pack into the promised land.
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